Before you think this is just a generic review that bashes the game for "not being a game", please read the entire
Gone Home is a first-person exploration game where you play as a girl named Kaitlin, who's just returned home after a year away. The main premise of the game is that you must find out what has happened to your family, while exploring the enormous mansion. Along the way, you'll discover a backstory about your character's sister named Sam, and her relationship with a girl named Lonnie (yes-love it or hate it-the central characters are lesbians). I must admit, while I was playing, I was excited to see what would happen to Lonnie and Sam.
You play by walking around and examining objects by clicking on them (I liked the ability to rotate objects to see every little detail on them). Set in 1995, this game has tons of references to pop-culture from that time (my favorite is the X-files reference). Keep in mind that there are no enemies or scary pop-ups throughout the entire game (excluding one somewhat creepy easter egg with a cross). I personally didn't find this bad at all. In fact, I felt that the night-time atmosphere without having to worry about any pop-ups contributed to helping me enjoy the game for all that it had. Being able to look at all of the small objects is my favorite part of the game. Mainly because there are a ton of notes (which usually have something to do with the story) to read, or because the retro objects are just fun to look at.
One of the main criticisms that people have with this game is it's length. It's a rather short game which you can beat in less than 2 hours (if you know what you're doing, you can beat the game in literally less than one minute). While this is one of the biggest problems with this game, it's not as bad as you think it is (well, depending on who you are). I spent my time on my playthrough [as mentioned before] looking at all of the objects in the game, and also looking for the tapes that explained more of Sam's backstory. But to be honest, once I was finished looking at all of those cute objects and beating the game, I had very little reason to play through the game again. It was nice while it lasted, but unfortunately, this may not please most people. So if you're reading this, let me give you a message: if you don't like exploration type games where you just observe objects and don't fight any enemies, stop reading this and don't even buy this game (everyone else, read on).
But without a doubt, the biggest fault with this game is the the price tag: $19.99. While I enjoyed this game on my first playthrough, $20 for such a small game is just flatout robbery. If you're really interested in this game, I suggest that you get it when it goes on sale, because $20 is really not worth it in my opinion.
So to sum it up: Gone Home is a nice game to play. It has an interesting story that is worth playing for, and exploring the 90's themed house just fills me with a special feeling that I've never had before. But in the end, it suffers from being incredibly overpriced, and the fact that most people can beat the game really quickly. For those reasons, I can not recommend this game to any normal gamer. HOWEVER
, if this game is on sale, I would give it a try.